Dear Valued Visitor,

We have noticed that you are using an ad blocker software.

Although advertisements on the web pages may degrade your experience, our business certainly depends on them and we can only keep providing you high-quality research based articles as long as we can display ads on our pages.

To view this article, you can disable your ad blocker and refresh this page or simply login.

We only allow registered users to use ad blockers. You can sign up for free by clicking here or you can login if you are already a member.

“Dear Steve, Thank You”: Apple Inc. (AAPL)

Dear Steve,

I never got to write you to say goodbye.

At the time of your death in October 2011, and for many months after, so much was written and said about you that I didn’t want to join the bandwagon. I wanted to let some time pass, to watch and learn, and to collect my thoughts. I’d always meant to write you, though, and now that things are much quieter — and at an interesting place in history — well, I wanted to thank you, and to convey a few thoughts.

First off, I always was, am, and always will be a fan. In our 1999 book, The Motley Fool’s Rule Breakers, Rule Makers, on page 84 I wrote: “But before I even start, I want to make a confession: I’m a Steve Jobs guy.”

(I didn’t know that nine years later you would kick off the “I’m a PC/I’m a Mac” campaign with very similar language — while I wasn’t “a Mac” till 2008, I was a Jobs guy from much earlier.)

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)I closed that section with the following:

Relevant aftermath: Jobs is currently back at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) as interim CEO. … Since the resignation of the last official CEO, Gil Amelio, in July 1997, Apple’s stock has as of fall 1998 risen from $14 to $37, an increase of 164% that outperforms the S&P 500 by a factor of five. Whatever happens — and I’m actually a bull here because I believe in The Man — it’s a darned interesting story to follow.

I didn’t know at the time that your stock, when split-adjusted, would rise 4,800% from there to today — a 49-bagger, and that’s even after Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares are down 36% from their 52-week high. I didn’t actually get around to recommending your stock to our membership until January 2008, which means I personally have enjoyed only a 181% return on my belief in Apple — which is still 153 percentage points ahead of the S&P 500. (I know I’m talking about the stock a lot, but in addition to being a Jobs guy, I’m even more a stocks guy.)

I wanted to thank you for a story you told my brother and me at the Businessweek conference we also spoke at in the 1990s. You were talking about criticism you were taking for spending one full day out of every week — despite being CEO of both Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Pixar — just doing job interviews for new hires. You asked the audience why you did it. I will always remember your answer.

Paraphrased, you said that most of the world thinks that someone who’s “really good” is about 3 times as good as an average employee. You said you disagreed. You said someone who’s “really good” is actually about 60 times as good as an average employee. And that’s why you spent 20% of your time just interviewing people. Because you believed that finding awesome people was a huge catalyst for the success of your companies.

DOWNLOAD FREE REPORT: Warren Buffett's Best Stock Picks

Let Warren Buffett, George Soros, Steve Cohen, and Daniel Loeb WORK FOR YOU.

If you want to beat the low cost index funds by 19 percentage points per year, look no further than our monthly newsletter.In this free report you can find an in-depth analysis of the performance of Warren Buffett's entire historical stock picks. We uncovered Warren Buffett's Best Stock Picks and a way to for Buffett to improve his returns by more than 4 percentage points per year.

Bonus Biotech Stock Pick: You can also find a detailed bonus biotech stock pick that we expect to return more than 50% within 12 months.
Subscribe me to Insider Monkey's Free Daily Newsletter
This is a FREE report from Insider Monkey. Credit Card is NOT required.